Raining down colorful fun: Seventh annual United Way Color Dash held

Lydia Rugroden, 6 years old, prepares to be showered in blue as she crosses the first color station in the Seventh annual United Way Color Dash. Lydia ran ahead of her mom, Kelly. Her older brothers, Noah and Simon also ran in this year’s dash.

Color rained down on runners as they made their way through the streets of Gering Saturday in the 7th annual United Way Color Dash.

“It was great fun,” Kelly Rugroden said after finishing the dash with her daughter, 6-year-old Lydia and sons Noah, 10, and Simon, 8.

While running, “it was all smoky (from the powder) and colorful,” Noah said.

The Rugrodens were among more than 300 runners who took part in this year’s fundraiser for the United Way.

“It’s all about having a good time and raising money for local agencies,” United Way’s Krista Sarchet said.

The event began and ended at Five Rocks Amphitheater in Gering. Runners made their way east down D Street before turning north at the National Guard Armory to 10th Street. The runners headed west just past the Scotts Bluff County Courthouse and back south on 12th Street and then made their way back to D Street and then up to the finish line at Five Rocks Amphitheater.

Along the way runners were showered with blue, purple, pink, red, orange, green and yellow powder at nine different color stations.

“It was great fun,” runner Leandra Gevara said after finishing. “I loved getting blasted by the powder.”

There were more than 100 volunteers between the color station and pit stops who helped make the Color Dash happen, Sarchet said.

The Color Dash is something “anyone can do,” First State Bank’s Mike Downey said.

First State Bank has been title sponsor of the event since its beginning.

“You can run, walk or crawl, it’s just a fun family event,” Downey said.

By the time the runners crossed the finish line the shirts they were wearing, which started out white in color, were now a blend of blue, green, yellow, red, pink, orange and purple. The runners themselves were covered in the same blend of different colors, but all had smiles on their faces.

For both the Gevaras and Rugrodens this was their first year running in the Color Dash, but it won’t be their last.